What better way to see the fall colours than by getting up close and personal amongst the trees? Leave the dinner reservations and movie tickets for another day. Strap on a harness and a helmet, and let go of the fear of heights that’s been holding you back from trying something new. That’s right, it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone, and onto a swinging log suspended 20 feet in the air.
Treetop Trekking has five parks across Ontario, including locations in Barrie, Stouffville and Brampton. It’s a place for adventure seekers young and old who are looking to interact with nature through enhanced team building activities. “We want to be that company that walks the fun line between zen and excitement,” says Treetop Trekking manager Ally Green.
Each park offers something different, with courses ranging in skill level from beginner to expert. “At the beginner level, it’s all about learning how to manoeuver your body through the courses,” says Green. Before doing any climbing, participants partake in a thorough safety briefing where they learn how to operate the equipment. From there, you can move independently through the different obstacles, which include swinging logs, Tarzan swings, barrel tunnels and zip lines.
When trekking amongst the trees, adventurers wear a harness similar to those provided at rock climbing gyms. During the safety briefing you learn how to hook your harness safely to the cables by locking your carabiner in place. While the park supplies the harness and helmet,
it’s important to dress for the weather. Fall temperatures drop even lower once you’re covered by the shade of the canopy. Athletic wear is an appropriate choice – you can expect to be exerting plenty of energy as you run and climb from tree to tree. Gloves aren’t required, but they will help protect your hands from rubbing against the cables. Don’t forget to pack snacks and bottled water.
Treetop Trekking is a great option for corporate team building activities, as well as school field day trips. Think of it as another way to face your fears and try something new. “You create a stronger bond with people, especially when they’re nervous about something,” says Green.
And while it’s certainly a physical activity set up to test your limits, you don’t have to be super physically fit to participate. “We had a 90-year-old celebrate her birthday here and she climbed some of the courses,” Green says, noting she once had the opportunity to climb with a blind climber who was able to complete the courses. Treetop Trekking proudly welcomes climbers with special needs, giving everyone an equal opportunity to unleash their inner adventurer.
Fear of heights is natural and common, but also commonly overcome. “Don’t limit yourself, ” says Green. “We’ve had trekkers from all walks of life join us for a day and be successful.”
Fall Foliage 2017 | What to Expect
Everyone wants to know: will this be a good year for pretty leaves?
Interestingly, weather has a big impact on when the leaves turn; in particular, the amount of sunlight is important. This is because leaves manufacture chlorophyll, which stores the energy of the sun. And it is chlorophyll that gives leaves their green colour.
Last year, if you blinked a little too quickly you may have missed the changing colour of the autumn leaves. Dry conditions typically lead to shorter colour seasons, because they can end chlorophyll production abruptly (especially for trees that turn red), and the added stress of these rough conditions also makes the trees shed their leaves sooner.
But this year is looking more promising, thanks to the cool and wet summer weather we’ve experienced. If the autumn weather is cold enough, it can end chlorophyll production early, leading to the transformation of beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. Cold temperatures also make colours more intense.
The fall colours are already well on their way, so be sure to get out and enjoy them while you can.
For ongoing updates on fall colour progression, visit ontarioparks.ca/fallcolour
by Charlotte Ottaway